Friday, April 17, 2015

Fairy Tales in Advertising: Fiat 500: Prince Charming

Fiat 500: Prince Charming
Fun going there. Fun coming back.

Okay, this is amusing and a little disturbing. But all in fun. Reminds me of the old Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog Looney Tunes cartoons where the characters clock in and out for the day. Always loved those. So does John the Hubby.

Campaign info from Ads of the World:

Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett Iberia, Spain
Executive Creative Director: Juan García-Escudero
Creative Director: Fernando Martín
Art Directors: Alejandro Hernán, Fred Bosch, Javier Martínez
Illustrator: Freeuno, B-ita
Group Account Director: Ricardo del Campo
Account Director : Eduardo Gómez-Escolar
Account Executive: Jaime Blanco

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Grateful Dead Tales From Around the World Release Date: 5/4/15

The Grateful Dead Tales From Around the World--the 10th SurLaLune Fairy Tale Series release!-- will be officially released on 5/4/15. Any links I include may not be working yet, but they will be by then. The ebook may be a little later, I'm not sure yet if it will be available simultaneously. This is the front cover and I have the book description below. The book is 828 pages and stuffed full with Grateful Dead tales, discussions, and other miscellanea.

Next week and in the weeks that follow, I will be posting quite a bit about The Grateful Dead folklore and all of its varieties. I always hope to whet your appetite to learn more, not bore you, so stay tuned and see if I manage that feat with this lesser known tale. I will keep the posts shortish so they won't be much to read in little bites.

Book description:

The Grateful Dead folktale type can be traced back at least 2,000 years. The tales of earthly rewards received for providing decent burial to the dead are both didactical and entertaining, with some of the earliest examples appearing in scripture and mythology. In modern times where laws heavily regulate burial practices, the tales have lost much of their social impact, but they still provide entertaining insight into past times.

In 1908, Gordon Hall Gerould wrote a monograph—The Grateful Dead: The History of a Folk Story—in which he discussed over 100 variants of the tale, a remarkable and diverse piece of scholarship that has received higher recognition in recent years. The full text of Gerould’s work is provided in this volume.

This collection also includes over 45 folktales and ballads with Grateful Dead motifs.

In addition, the full text of four English plays that use the motif are provided, including:

  • The Old Wives’ Tale by George Peele
  • The Fatal Dowry by Nathan Field & Philip Massinger
  • The Fair Penitent by Nicholas Rowe
  • The Insolvent: or Filial Piety, A Tragedy by Aaron Hill

Other pieces of scholarship and miscellanea are offered, too, including an English translation of The History of Oliver and Arthur, a fifteenth century French romance.

When combined in one convenient volume, these materials provide a fascinating overview of an often neglected folktale type for both the formal scholar and armchair enthusiast.

Preorder Available for Science Fiction Inspired Snow White: Jupiter Ascending

Jupiter Ascending (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD +UltraViolet Combo Pack) is now available for preorder for those who are curious about the film. I like to preorder because I often win on pricing that way when random drops take the price lower.

Gypsy over at Fairy Tale News did such a great job covering this film--for years until its final release!--that I didn't think to add anything about it here. I haven't seen it yet but I am curious. Science fiction is a love of mine and this film fascinates in theory but I am still cautious. But I plan to see it this summer when it is released to DVD. I have little interest in seeing most films in the theatre any more. And DVDs are so much more fun with the opportunities to watch extras and such in the comfort of my own home.

I am also curious about the Snow White elements to the story and how much they survived. Did anyone else see this and enjoy it? I know John my Beloved will be happy to watch it with me.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Water Sprite Poetry for the Day: Sabrina Fair

Back in February, I finally had the opportunity to see a production of the original Sabrina Fair by Samuel Taylor at a local theatre. This has been a bucket list item for me for decades. Yes, I am strange. John my Beloved and I battled icy roads to go see this and it was even better than I anticipated, certainly my favorite version of the story, better than either movie actually. I came down with a severe cold soon after so I forgot to go back and reread this poem I offer again below for National Poetry Month, a reposting of a 2011 post. Little did I know then that  Mermaid and Other Water Spirit Tales From Around the World would become one of the most popular titles in the SurLaLune Fairy Tale series.

Sabrina Fair Sabrina - The Centennial Collection Sabrina
One of my favorite classic movies as a teen was Sabrina starring Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart and William Holden. It's not a perfect movie and even flawed in places, but I adored it all the same. A few years later the movie was remade with Julia Ormond, Harrison Ford and Greg Kinnear and I enjoyed that one, too, despite its flaws. At that point I was in college and was able to learn more about the movie's history thanks to news articles and access to more information although the internet as an information tool was just blossoming. I special ordered a copy of the original play, Sabrina Fair by Samuel Taylor from my university bookstore and was charmed by it, too.

But today we are talking about Sabrina or Sabrina Fair whose name is important to some degree in all three renditions. From the 1995 film:

Linus Larrabee: So, that really is a beautiful name. How did you get it?
Sabrina: My father's reading. It's in a poem.
Linus Larrabee: Oh?
Sabrina: "Sabrina fair, listen where thou art sitting under the glassy, cool, translucent wave, in twisted braids of lilies knitting the loose train of thy amber-dropping hair."


Linus Larrabee: [pause] So, your little poem - what does it mean?
Sabrina: It's the story of a water sprite who saved a virgin from a fate worse than death.
Linus Larrabee: And Sabrina's the virgin.
Sabrina: [quietly] Sabrina's the savior.

You can read the similar conversation in the original play here on pages 41-42. In that version, I learned that the poem was from John Milton's play, Comus. You can read an online version of Comus here or read about it on Wikipedia.

Mermaid and Other Water Spirit Tales From Around the World

Sabrina, as a water sprite, is referenced frequently enough in literature beyond the Sabrina play/films that I decided to include the excerpt from Comus in Mermaid and Other Water Spirit Tales From Around the World since her semi-fame was brought about by the play. Alas, these days the name is more often associated with witches thanks to shows like Sabrina the Teenage Witch, but she was a princess and then a water sprite, not a witch in folklore.

Milton didn't invent the character, however. Sabrina—also known as Sabre, Severn, Hafren, Habrena—first appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae (c. 1136). A princess who drowned in the river Severn, she later became a goddess associated with the river.

I'm only going to include the first part of the excerpt since it is rather long overall. Most quotes only use the short Sabrina Fair sequence that appears in the play/films. But I am including the part previous to that which describes Sabrina to the audience.

SPIRIT: There is a gentle Nymph not far from hence,
That with moist curb sways the smooth Severn stream:
Sabrina is her name: a virgin pure;
Whilom she was the daughter of Locrine,
That had the sceptre from his father Brute.
She, guiltless damsel, flying the mad pursuit
Of her enraged stepdame, Guendolen,
Commended her fair innocence to the flood
That stayed her flight with his cross-flowing course.
The water-Nymphs, that in the bottom played,
Held up their pearled wrists, and took her in,
Bearing her straight to aged Nereus’ hall;
Who, piteous of her woes, reared her lank head,
And gave her to his daughters to imbathe
In nectared lavers strewed with asphodil,
And through the porch and inlet of each sense
Dropt in ambrosial oils, till she revived.
And underwent a quick immortal change,
Made Goddess of the river. Still she retains
Her maiden gentleness, and oft at eve
Visits the herds along with twilight meadows,
Helping all urchin blasts, and ill-luck signs
That the shrewd meddling Elf delights to make,
Which she with pretious vialed liquors heals:
For which the Shepherds, at their festivals,
Carol her goodness loud in rustic lays,
And throw sweet garland wreaths into her stream,
Of pansies, pinks, and gaudy daffadils.
And, as the old Swain said, she can unlock
The clasping charm, and thaw the numbing spell,
If she be right invoked in warbled song;
For maidenhood she loves, and will be swift
To aid a virgin, such as was herself,
In hard-besetting need. This will I try,
And add the power of some adjuring verse.

Song for Sabrina

Sabrina fair,
Listen where thou art sitting
Under the glassy, cool, translucent wave,
In twisted braids of lilies knitting
The loose train of thy amber-dropping hair;
Listen for dear honour’s sake,
Goddess of the silver lake,
Listen and save!

Bargain Ebook: A Plague of Unicorns by Jane Yolen for $.99

A Plague of Unicorns by Jane Yolen is on sale in ebook format for 99 cents.

Book description:

Young James, an earl’s son, is a bit bothersome and always asking the oddest questions. In despair—the last of James’ tutors having quit—his mother sends him off to be educated at Cranford Abbey. She feels the strict regimen will do him a world of good. But Cranford Abbey has its own problems. It has been falling into disrepair. The newly appointed Abbot Aelian takes it upon himself to save the abbey with the use of his secret weapon: a recipe for golden apple cider passed down in his family for many generations. He believes that by making and selling the cider, the monks will raise necessary funds to restore the abbey to its former glory. Abbot Aelian has everything he needs—almost. One obstacle stands in his way, unicorns that happen to feast specifically on the golden apples. Abbot Aelian and his men must fight off the unicorns to make the cider. He and the monks try to form a battalion to fight off the beasts; next they import heroes to fight for them. But the heroes run off, monks are injured, and a herd of ravenous unicorns continue munching. After no success, the abbot finally calls upon the most unlikely of heroes, one suggested by no other than young James. That hero is small and unprepossessing but possesses the skill to tame the beasts. Though wildly skeptical, Abbot Aelian must risk everything and believe in this recommended stranger or risk the fall of Cranford Abbey.

Monday, April 13, 2015

New Release: Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk by Liesl Shurtliff

(US/UK Links)

Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk by Liesl Shurtliff is released this week in the US and UK. See Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk (UK Link). Shurtliff previously wrote Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin, so this may be a continuing series.

Book description:

Fans of Adam Gidwitz and Chris Colfer will give a GIANT cheer for this funny fairytale retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk!

All work and no play makes Jack extremely bored. And when Jack gets bored, he makes mischief. It’s not that he’s bad; he just longs for adventure—and there’s nothing adventurous about toiling day and night to grow yucky green stuff.

Adventure finally arrives one day in the form of giants, and soon Jack is chasing them to a land beyond the clouds, with his little sister, Annabella, in tow. The kingdom of giants is full of slugs the size of sheep, venomous pixies as tall as grown men, and a chatty cook with the biggest mouth Jack has ever seen. There’s giant fun to be had, too: puddings to swim in, spoons to use as catapults, monster toads to carry off pesky little sisters. . . .

But Jack and Annabella are on a mission. The king of the giants has taken something that belongs to them, and they’ll do anything—even dive into a smelly tureen of green bean soup—to get it back.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Fairy Tales of the World: ITAKA Foundation: Happily ever after

ITAKA Foundation: Happily ever after
Sometimes it is easier to draw something than to name your emotions. 
Learn more about child depression, enter 
Help your child to find themselves before they get lost.

Another serious issue with a fairy tale used as the vehicle for the message. Effectively done. Kudos. And so often I wonder if the Fairy Tales of the World feature on the blog is too heavy for a Friday morning. But these are important issues that don't get the weekend off either.

Campaign info from Ads of the World:

Advertising Agency: AS AP, Warsaw, Poland
Art Directors: Ania Pisarska, Tobiasz Cechowicz
Copywriters: Asia Leszczyńska, Adam Sierociński
Illustrator: Antoni Serkowski
Published: June 2013

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Fairy Tale Reverso Poems for National Poetry Month

Has it really been FIVE years since Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reverso Poems by Marilyn Singer was released? I was contemplating poetry posts since April is National Poetry Month and many favorites came to mind. Then I remembered Singer's work and got all sparkly thoughts again. This book and the companion book, Follow Follow: A Book of Reverso Poems, are favorites on my fairy tale poetry shelf. I have some sample pages from the second book below with some of the reverso poems to read. Reversos are poems that read backward and forwards (by lines) with some punctuation changes and doing so reverses their meanings and/or perspectives, too. They are so clever and fun and I adore these.

And the illustrations by Josee Masse fit the illustrations perfectly and colorfully. These should be owned in hardcover. It's the best way to enjoy them and that's from a confirmed ebook addict.

Publisher's description for Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reverso Poems:

What’s brewing when two favorites—poetry and fairy tales—are turned (literally) on their heads? It’s a revolutionary recipe: an infectious new genre of poetry and a lovably modern take on classic stories.

First, read the poems forward (how old-fashioned!), then reverse the lines and read again to give familiar tales, from Sleeping Beauty to that Charming Prince, a delicious new spin. Witty, irreverent, and warm, this gorgeously illustrated and utterly unique offering holds a mirror up to language and fairy tales, and renews the fun and magic of both.
Images from Follow Follow: A Book of Reverso Poems. You can click on the image to get a larger version for easier viewing:

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

From France: Le Petit Chaperon rouge illustrated by Joanna Concejo

Le Petit Chaperon rouge illustrated by Joanna Concejo is a French picture book of Little Red Riding Hood. I've not seen the book itself, but I discovered some illustrations that may appear in the book on Concejo's blog here and here. The illustrations are interesting and I am curious as to how the tale is presented, but the description and reviews are for other editions of the tale.